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Comment Re:How Many Paid Oil/Gas Industry Trolls Post Here (Score 2) 284

Just move on from Slashdot.

I gave up on fighting against the astroturfers here a few years back... wasn't worth the effort and stress anymore. I can still get good discussion about topics that matter to me at reddit -- just need to stay away from some of the subreddits there.

Every once in a while I come check on Slashdot, and remember anew why I left. The place went to shit once the sockpuppet accounts got critical mass on mod points.

Comment Re: My Apologies (Score 1) 174

It sounds like you're not actually very familiar with Steam. There are many >20 year old games on it. Off the top of my head, King's Quest came out in 1984, so there's a 32 year old game.

But your real problem is with DRM, not digital distribution in general. That's a valid concern, but there are mitigating factors there -- it's optional on Steam and many publishers don't actually include DRM in their games, and you can buy from non-Steam retailers like GOG that don't allow DRM at all.

But that's all beside the point that, even if you don't like DRM, physical distribution of PC games is dead. That's not an opinion.

Comment Re:My Apologies (Score 4, Insightful) 174

The app store model only works for smartphones, but PC owners DEMAND more.

Incorrect. Physical sales for PC games have been dead for years. Even if you buy a boxed copy of a game, it will probably just have a Steam code inside. Among developers who release their games for other platforms, it's still common for >90% of a game's sales to be through Steam.

And honestly, it's better that way. I don't need boxes and DVD cases cluttering up my house when I'm going to use them exactly once and then put them away for a few years until the next time I get a new computer and need to reinstall them. Not to mention that it's easy to lose or damage a disc, and for older games it can be very difficult to track down a physical copy that somebody's willing to sell.

Comment Re:uname -a (Score 1) 220

From the beginning I never understood the enthousiasm for Java and the necessity to introduce it everywhere. Its strongest selling point was its invulnerability for malware, but once introduced this invulnerability was shortlived. And now this lumbering, vulnerable and slow language is the pivot on which the world turns.

It was never invulnerable to malware, but its sandboxed memory model did (and still does) make it resistant to many of the types of exploits found in low-level compiled languages. But that was never the strongest selling point; bigger ones are:
- A huge standard library
- An even larger set of well-supported, open source third party libraries
- A strong object model with introspection and run-time reflection
- Garbage collection
- Great support for tooling and run-time analysis, which has lead to lots of fantastic IDEs, profilers, static analyzers, and other tools being readily available

Greybeards on Slashdot like to call it "slow" because the last time they remember actively using Java was in an applet in a web page in 1998, but it's only slow compared to low-level compiled languages, and not even in every situation; depending on what you're using it for, there are situations where it's just as fast or even faster thanks to run-time optimizations. It's also still an order of magnitude faster than any of the popular interpreted or scripting languages. That aside, speed doesn't even matter that much when the majority of your CPU time is spent waiting for user input.

That's why it's so popular. Does that help?

Comment Re:PSA: on "fingerprint scanners" (Score 1) 432

Your typical phone stylus causes a change in capacitance when touched to a phone's screen, which is good enough for it to register that there's something touching it and trigger an event.

The sensors in the fingerprint scanner on a phone are much more accurate than the rest of the screen, to the degree that it's easy to tell the difference between the changes in capacitance caused by rubber vs. human skin, and also it can detect the gaps between ridges on your fingers, which a stylus doesn't have.

Comment Re:PSA: on "fingerprint scanners" (Score 1) 432

Do people have trouble fingerprint-unlocking their phones?

The false negative rate is actually quite high. When calibrating a phone's fingerprint scanner, it'll typically have you place your finger on the scanner several times at several different angles so that it can see what your finger's response is like in a variety of positions; even with all of those measurements, it's not uncommon for it to take two or three attempts for your finger to be accepted if you don't put your finger down in just the right place at the right angle.

Comment PSA: on "fingerprint scanners" (Score 2) 432

I see a lot of people here who are repeating the "why would you use fingerprints for authentication when your fingerprints can just be lifted off of any nearby surface?!" line, which is ignorant of how fingerprint scanners in modern cell phones actually work. Read up on it a bit:

The short version is that no, the police will not be able to fool your phone's fingerprint scanner by using a print collected off of something else you've touched. Modern scanners do not record visual images of your fingerprint and match against that; they measure either changes in capacitance associated with the ridges of your finger touching the phone or your finger's response to an ultrasonic pulse. Both forms are incredible hard to fool with a prosthetic (and probably won't even work if your finger has been severed, although I don't know if anybody's tested that).

Comment Re:What's the new DUI? (Score 3, Insightful) 36

If somebody in your back seat reaches forward, grabs the steering wheel, and forces you to get into an accident, who is liable? You, because you didn't stop them? The car maker, because they didn't prevent anybody but the driver from grabbing the steering wheel?

The hacker is obviously the liable party.

Comment Re:They didn't tolerate intolerance (Score 4, Interesting) 657

Aha, I figured it out. I've been trying to figure out what kind of point you were even trying to make, as it seems like you've been trying to argue that you're not a hypocrite if you're doing it for moral reasons, and you've been doing so by trying to trick me into saying the magical words "free speech" so that you can trot out the typical censorship-apologist line about how it's only illegal if the government does it, and then you can try to convince everybody that because it's not illegal for private entities to do it, it must be moral...

But I didn't actually say "free speech," nor did I imply what the companies in question are doing was illegal at all, and you're going off on a tanget and putting lots of words into my mouth. Stop it.

Let me try to clear up the cognitive dissonance you're going through right now. You've always been told that, as an American, free speech is paramount. On the other hand, you believe that when somebody says something you think is immoral, it's your job to stop them. You don't like being labeled a hypocrite; you internally associate that with being bad because you've been raised to believe that suppressing speech is bad, and you don't want to acknowledge that's what you're doing. Internally you realize that it's true, so rather than acknowledge the dissonance you're doing your best to convince everybody that it's not hypocrisy if you're doing it for moral reasons.

What the companies in question (and you) are doing is perfectly legal, and possibly even morally correct, but I haven't commented on that at all. It's still hypocrisy. Stop trying to weasel out of it.

Comment Re:They didn't tolerate intolerance (Score 1) 657

If you have evidence that somebody is "purposefully spamming deliberate lies," that's libel and you should go through the appropriate legal channels. The purpose of a business is to make money, not to enforce morality. But you're not a hypocrite unless you claim to support those peoples' speech at the same time that you're taking action against it.

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